I'm a day late posting about the Gospel story from John (20:11-18) that describes the moment when Mary meets the resurrected Jesus; it's such a beautiful moment I felt compelled to write about it. The story is so abundant with meaning on both literal and symbolic levels.
Mary was utterly beside herself with grief over Jesus' death. Her eyes were overflowing with tears and her mind overwrought with countless and powerful emotions. Maybe her grief or perhaps anger got in the way of recognizing Jesus was there with her. Maybe her disbelief?
Taking this story literally, I can only have a teensy sliver of an imagining of what it must have been like for Mary to experience Jesus' return -- the incredible joy that must have coursed through her at the moment of discovery, the amazement, the excitement, the full realization that indeed, Jesus is the messiah as he had said! Taking the story figuratively, I think about the ways in which I have difficulty recognizing Jesus. Sometimes strong emotions cloud my vision so that I lose sight of Jesus in myself. Or perhaps something makes me, like Mary, not even recognize Christ in the people who are closest to me.